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The Song Collector

by Natasha Solomons

Book Club Recommendations Books of the Month Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel eBooks of the Month Family Drama Historical Fiction Modern and Contemporary Fiction

LoveReading View on The Song Collector

One of our Books of the Year 2015.

July 2015 Book of the Month.

‘The Song Collector’ subtly tiptoes under your skin, the first few sentences call to you, draw you in, envelop you… and then it doesn't let you go until the very last page. Fox recollects meeting the love of his life just after the Second World War, while in the present, grieving the death of his wife, his grandson helps him reconnect with music and the world around him. There is a beguiling sense of honesty to the story, it feels as though Fox is seeking peace and reconciliation not only with others, but also with himself. Natasha Solomons has a wonderful ability to connect to thoughts and feelings and bring them to life, make them feel totally and completely real. There aren't any cunning tricks, hidden mysteries or unpredictable events lurking to hijack you, just a beautifully written, special and moving story waiting to be heard. ~ Liz Robinson

Liz Robinson

The Song Collector Synopsis

Fox, as the celebrated composer Harry Fox-Talbot is known, wants to be left in peace. His beloved wife has died, he's unable to write a note of music, and no, he does not want to take up some blasted hobby. Then one day he discovers that his troublesome four-year-old grandson is a piano prodigy. The music returns and Fox is compelled to re-engage with life - and, ultimately, to confront an old family rift. Decades earlier, Fox and his brothers return to Hartgrove Hall after the war, determined to save their once grand home from ruin. But on the last night of 1946, the arrival of beautiful wartime singer Edie Rose tangles the threads of love and duty, which leads to a shattering betrayal. With poignancy, lyricism and humour, Natasha Solomons tells a captivating tale of passion and music, of roots, ancient songs and nostalgia for the old ways, of the ties that bind us to family and home and the ones we are prepared to sever. Here is the story of a man who discovers joy and creative renewal in the aftermath of grief and learns that it is never too late to seek forgiveness.

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The Song Collector Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Ann Peet - 'A lovely, well written novel suffused with music and human emotions.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'All characters from the past are liked to those in the present and when you put it altogether we see a story about grief, forgiveness, hope and joy. Simply beautiful!'
  • Sharon Lowe - 'Heartwarming touching a story tracing three people and a love that lasted, of music and a child who was gifted and his grandfather who nurtured his talent and wellbeing.'
  • Sarah Webb - 'An intriguing family story told in the past and present.'
  • Sarah Hamid - 'I loved this book and wanted to devour it greedily in one sitting - the best of Natasha Solomons' novels. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good story that spans different generations.'
  • Glenda Worth - 'The Song Collector by Natasha Solomons - a story of family ties, grieving, and ultimately music. A brilliant tale interwoven with emotion and laughter based around a grieving widower and his grandson.'
  • Jennifer Stewart - 'Wow! What a fantastic book! Wouldn't have picked this one up but am so glad that I read it. I was instantly drawn to this emotional and absorbing tale of love and betrayal with a musical background.'
  • Nikki Whitmore - 'It’s a story of love and loss, of wanting something you can’t have and of the desperate need for absolution. It is beautiful but also painful which I suppose is true of a lot of music, depending on the context.'
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'A sensitive story of a beloved wife lost and how it is possible to find some meaning in life as widowed man seeks to find meaning as a ‘half person'...a motivating and absorbing account of the human spirit.'
  • Val Rowe - 'A gently powerful novel which music lovers, and those who enjoy reading about the complexities of human relationships, will particularly enjoy...A charming and entrancing novel which I recommend highly.'
  • Victoria Goldman - 'Once again, Natasha Solomons has written a beautiful, heartbreaking novel. ‘The Song Collector’ is filled with a passion for music and grief for lost loved ones.'
  • Riki Bill - 'A heartwarming book set in the present and the past of one man's musical and personal life. Written in the first person Ms Solomons novel transports the reader to the aftermath of WWII.'
  • Rachael Anderson - 'The Song Collector is a touching, emotionally charged novel. A love story on many levels. Beautifully written and joy to read.'
  • Vanessa Wild - 'I found The Song Collector a compelling, absorbing and captivating tale about betrayal, forgiveness and the power of music to heal.'
  • Nicola Kingswell - 'An enchanting literal symphony of love, family, music and home.'
  • Elisabeth Thomas - 'Betrayal, forbidden love, family ties, the importance of our roots, music and hope all combine to make a powerful and moving story about one man who after his loss learns that family ties are the most.'
  • Christine Waddington - 'Natasha Solomons writes movingly about music, war-time, family life, grief and resolution. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.'
  • Allison Batten - 'I have read previous books by this author and have enjoyed them but didn’t think this was up to her usual standard.'

The Good Book Guide Review

Natasha Solomons tells another poignant tale – this time centring on composer Harry FoxTalbot, known as Fox, whose life’s passion has been for music, and, in particular, collecting songs. We first meet Harry after the death of his beloved wife, Edie, when he has lost his passion for everything, and is unable to compose, or even play the piano. Their story unfolds in flashbacks – we learn how the three Fox-Talbot brothers were intent on saving their once splendid home Hartgrove Hall after the war; how Harry’s music came in the way of him staying there; how Jack’s beautiful girlfriend Edie eventually fell for Harry. In the present day, Harry’s daughters Clara and Lucy are trying to cajole him from his profound sadness and get him to engage in life again. Then one day, looking after his hyperactive four-year-old grandson, he discovers the boy’s genius for the piano, which is the impetus he needs. This is a lovely tale well told – a perfect holiday read.

The Song Collector Press Reviews

PRAISE FOR MR ROSENBLUM'S LIST:

 

'Almost irritatingly impressive ... she strikes the perfect note with simple, evocative metaphors. I was forced to accept that this was a rare treat; a debut novel that is pretty much flawless.
The Times

 

'The light yet poignant tone makes for an unusual, richly comic novel... a treat of a book.' Guardian

 

'Sprinkled with a hint of magic, this debut is a delight.' Daily Mail

 

PRAISE FOR THE NOVEL IN THE VIOLA:

 

'A deeply touching and blissfully romantic elegy for a lost world.' The Times

 

'A vivid and poignant story about hope, loss and reinvention' Psychologies

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781444736410
Publication date: 24/03/2016
Publisher: Sceptre an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781444736380
Publication date: 02/07/2015
Publisher: Sceptre an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781444736380
Publication date: 2nd July 2015
Author: Natasha Solomons
Publisher: Sceptre an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Format: Hardback
Genres: Book Club Recommendations, Books of the Month, Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Modern and Contemporary Fiction,
Categories:

About Natasha Solomons

Natasha Solomons is the author of the bestselling Mr Rosenblum's List and The Novel in the Viola, which was chosen for the Richard & Judy Book Club. Natasha Lives in Dorset with her son and her husband with whom she also writes screenplays. Her novels have been translated into 17 languages.   Author photo © David Solomons

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